Gone Rural was founded in 1987 to create employment for women in many rural communities across Swaziland. What started as a local business, supporting 30 women, has evolved into a company providing an income for over 700 rural women.
Whilst Gone Rural provides income generation for the women, another organisation, Gone Rural boMake complements this process by supporting the lives of Swazi women through health, education & social programmes.
Gone Rural boMake is a non profit organisation which is supported by contributions from a portion of sales from Gone Rural products, private individual donations, as well as other donor organisations. Some ongoing programmes include: women's literacy, HIV/AIDS support, school fees bursary, clean drinking water & creating sustainable vegetable gardens for families.
Gone Rural boMake is committed to make a sustainable impact in rural Swaziland communities by bringing wellness, education and community development services to Gone Rural women artisans, complementing their income generation.
Sukumani bomaki! - Rise up women!
Swazi women harvest 'Lutindzi' grass from mountainous regions, which is dryed and sold to Gone Rural. The grasses are then dyed in fuel efficient vats, transforming them into an array of beautiful colours.
On 'Market days' the women gather together to collect the grass materials and their new orders for products from Gone Rural representatives, which they then take home and work on when and where they choose. This gives them the freedom to balance their family and work life as they choose. Sometimes the women work in groups, sharing the care of their young children.
The women use unique hand skills and are exceptionally talented, utilising different techniques of stitching, weaving and plaiting to produce magical patterns for these unique products.
On another market day the women return with their finished products, where the Gone Rural representative checks and buys the products and places another order with them.